FOURTH-GENERATION FARMING FAMILY
CHOOKS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF OUR LIVES IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
Our family was one of the first Swiss-Italian families to settle in the Daylesford area in the 1850’s, which makes me, Paul Righetti, a fourth-generation farmer. My wife Jacqui and I and our two girls, Olivia and Eve, live in the original stone homestead built by my Great Grandfather.
Chooks have always been a part of our lives over the years in one way or another, but until we started Real Eggs, for the past 150-plus years the Righetti family ran a pastoral business that consisted mostly Merino wool. So, we're thrilled that the chooks fit really well with our grazing business as a beneficial symbiotic enterprise; they don't require extra land to run and they improve our pasture by scratching, fertilizing and eating bugs as they move around. All this natural chook activity improves the soil, which promotes more pasture growth for longer periods of the year, which in turn is great for our sheep!
Our chooks are Isa browns, which we chose for their quiet temperament and ability to produce high-quality eggs. We sell our eggs to restaurants, and cafes as well as retail stores. We are thrilled to receive very positive customer feedback, usually along the lines of, “you can really taste the difference”. Real Eggs enterprise provides employment for local people, which is also very satisfying.
My observation is that more people are seeking good quality food that is ethically produced by producers they can trust. To achieve this, agriculture must move away from factory/industrialised farming and back to the way nature intended.